Repair and Maintenance of a Drascombe Lugger

Making Wooden Floor Boards for the Lazarette (1)

These pages describe how to make a set of rear locker floorboards for the Lugger. The rear locker in the Mk 2 Lugger is quite cavernous. Floorboards in this area are useful for providing a level surface for storage and also for providing a platform above the hull so that stored items are less likely to suffer immersion in bilge water!

Design Options

Sospiri did not come with lazarette (rear locker) floorboards so I decided to make some. The first step was to borrow a set of 'Standard' plywood boards from a friend's Lugger to use as a template.

Standard plywood lazarette floorboards (bottom view) Photograph of a 'Standard' set of rear locker floorboards

I was very disappointed with the design and functionality of these boards. They are in two halves, are made out of 12 mm (grey painted) ply, with one set of softwood bearers at the front end. There is a cut-out to enable them to be fitted either side of the rudder trunk.

Fitting these in my Lugger revealed the following shortcomings:

  • They were very skimpy and could be much wider, thereby making considerably better use of the available storage space in the locker.
  • There were only bearers at the front to lift the boards clear of the bilge and these were not thick enough.
  • Additional bearers are needed at the back to ensure the rear end of the boards are clear of the bilge and any associated water.
  • There is no cut-out for access to the drain bung which is essential when emergency access is required (for example; realising that the bung has not been put in place when the boat has just been launched!)

The design was accordingly modified by means of a mock-up using second hand materials. These components were fettled & trimmed until they fitted exactly. A drawing was then made of the revised design the outline of which is shown below.

(Click on image for larger view)

Mock-up of revised design (bottom view) Mock-up of the revised design

These boards were constructed using two scraps of hardboard and some waste off-cuts of 12 mm plywood for the bearers (I have a habit of hoarding bits of timber which are ideal for testing out projects like this!). Compared with the original design (pictured above) it is obvious that these cover a much wider area of the lazarette and also benefit from a set of rear bearers, raising the level of the boards well above the bilge (and any trapped water).

(Click on image for larger view)

Floorboard mock-up in rear locker Photograph showing the mock-up fitted in the rear locker

Here are the completed mock-up floorboards, fitting snugly in place within the rear locker. Note the cut-out at the front, allowing access to the drain bung. The main constraint on size is to ensure that each set of boards can be inserted diagonally between the rudder trunk and the upper corner of the locker opening.

(Click on image for larger view)

Sketch Plan of revised design, viewed from above Sketch Plan of Revised Design (top view)

So here is my revised design. To facilitate extraction, the floorboards are in two sets; one set each side of the rudder trunk. Underneath the two 12 mm plywood sheets are two sets of smaller cross or bearing boards (made from softwood), which as well as holding the longitudinal boards in position, also elevate them to a more or less level surface above the hull.

Note that with the exception of the cut-out to allow access to the drain bung, the port and starboard board sets are a mirror image of each other. Note also that in some Luggers the drain bung is located outside the lazarette so a cut-out for access is not required.

The port and starboard bearers have a 'peg and socket' design (see sketch), to allow the boards to lock together in front of and behind the rudder trunk. This helps to ensure that the boards are held firmly in position whilst the boat is being sailed.

(Click on image for larger view)

Sketch Plan of rear locker planked floorboards, top view Design Variation

The main floorboards in Sospiri are made of planks rather than plywood. I wanted a similar design for the lazarette floorboards. So, in this design variation, instead of marine plywood, planks of (soft or hard) wood are used. There is a gap of about 12 mm between each longitudinal board to enable drainage of water into the bilge.

(Click on image for larger view)

Design Completed

Having clarified the design, the next page summarises the work involved and presents detailed drawings as the basis for construction.

Click on link below to continue

[Forward to page 2, Constructing the boards ]